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Rail chaos continues as engineers race to repair damage after record heatwave

Rail chaos continues as engineers race to repair damage after record heatwave
‘Due to urgent repairs to the railway, please do not travel to or from London King’s Cross today,’ says LNER

Commuters faced further chaos in the wake of the UK’s hottest ever day as Britain’s flagship rail line remains closed to and from London while engineers work to repair damage caused by extreme heat.

De East Coast main line, which links King’s Cross station in the capital with Yorkshire, northeast England and Scotland, was still closed south of Peterborough on Wednesday morning.

LNER, the leading train operator on the artery, sa: “Due to urgent repairs to the railway between King’s Cross and Peterborough, all lines are blocked.

“Please do not travel to or from King’s Cross today.”

The train firm said: “Following the severe weather and high temperatures on Tuesday 19 juli, a fire near the railway south of Peterborough has caused significant damage to signalling equipment.

Network Rail are working to repair this as quickly as possible, but the extent of the damage means that services will be disrupted for the duration of today, onsdag 20 July.”

Det la til: “There are numerous reports of damage to tracks, signalling equipment and overhead lines across the UK rail networks, including the routes we would typically redirect our customers to.

"Med det i tankene, unfortunately it will not be possible to complete your journey with another operator via these routes today.”

Announcements at London King’s Cross indicated that some trains may run from 12 noon onwards.

På tirsdag, når East Coast main line was closed between London and Yorkshire, passengers hoping to travel in the morning were directed to the adjacent St Pancras International station for East Midlands Railway (EMR) services to Sheffield.

But on Wednesday no trains are operating north from St Pancras. The only possible destinations from one of the UK’s key rail hubs are Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Kent, on the HS1 line.

“This is to allow full safety inspections of the tracks to take place in the morning,” EMR said.

“Please check your journey before travelling.”

The West Coast main line, linking southern Scotland, northwest England and the West Midlands with London Euston has a wide range of problems.

The Caledonian Sleeper, which normally connects Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William with London Euston, has been suspended. Passengers spent the night on board trains that were held at London, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Avanti vestkysten, the main operator, sier: “Extreme heat has caused major damage to the railway infrastructure on the Avanti West Coast network.” The current disruption affects:

  • Carlisle-Lancaster due to severe damage to the overhead electric wires. All lines are currently blocked.
  • Birmingham New Street: severe damage to the overhead electric wires in the Birmingham New Street area. All lines are currently blocked. Trains in the affected area will be cancelled or diverted.
  • Watford-Harrow: repair work in progress in the Hatch End area following damage caused by fires yesterday.

I Skottland, selv om, a full service is in operation today for the first time in two months. After a pay dispute with train drivers was settled, 700 services a day – about one-third of the total – have been restored.

Much of the national rail network is set to close down next Wednesday, 27 juli, when another strike by 40,000 members of the RMT union is scheduled in a dispute on pay, jobs and working conditions.